Ford collector Alan Clearwater, of Papanui Inlet, talks to Shawn McAvinue about his fleet of classic cars.
Tell me about your 1946 Ford Clubman Coupe?
I bought it from a guy in Auckland about four months ago. He imported it from Cincinnati. The V8 flathead engine is original and done 39,000 miles [62,765km]. It’s probably one of the best in the country for originality.
How many Fords do you own now?
Five – the Clubman, a 1947 Ford Jailbar pickup, a 1949 Ford Single Spinner, a 1959 Ford Ranchero ute and a 1961 Ford Fairlane 500.
Why do you collect Fords?
My older brothers had them when I was young, and one or two neighbours had them, so it’s in my blood. If you offered me a Chev, I’d say ‘it’s very nice but no thank you’. Fords have always been my thing.
Where did you get the Ranchero from?
From Auckland about three years ago. It has a 351 Windsor motor – it really flies.
Where did you get your two-door baby blue Fairlane 500 from?
I bought from a dealer in New Plymouth about two years ago. It has the original engine but the original three-speed column gear lever was replaced with a four-speed floor-mounted gear lever and it goes very nicely.
One or two people have offered to buy it off me but I waited 50 years to get one, so I’m not in a hurry to sell it.
Where did you get the Single Spinner from?
A friend bought it at a swap meet in Pennsylvania about four years ago and it’s only done 28,000 original miles.
How about the Jailbar pickup?
I bought it in Abbotsford about seven years ago and restored it from the ground up.
Why is it called a Jailbar?
The grill looks like jail bars.
Do you drive the Fords?
I love driving all of them. Some people buy old cars and leave them in a shed to collect dust but I use them.
How many Fords have you owned?
About 20. When I was 17, I drove another Ford Single Spinner around the North Island in the early 1960s. From North Cape and back – what a great time.